'Abducted In Plain Sight' Director Reveals Why The Family Were In Denial
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Everyone who watches Netflix's Abducted In Plain Sight is undoubtedly left with hundreds of questions, but the issue that seems to trouble viewers the most is how the Broberg parents, Mary Ann and Bob, could possibly be so oblivious to the fact that Robert 'B' Berchtold had sexually molested their 12-year-old daughter, Jan.
The Brobergs knew B had whisked their daughter off to get married in Mexico where the age of consent was just 12 at that time, and they knew he had desires to marry her back in the US too - but they denied having any knowledge he had any sexual relations with Jan.
While doctors told Bob and Mary Ann there was no evidence of sexual abuse because Jan's hymen hadn't been broken, many suggested the parents were deep in denial if they truly believed no abuse had taken place.
In a candid interview with Vulture, Abducted In Plain Sight director Skye Borgman shed some light on how the parents could possibly believe there had been no sexual relations.
"They convinced themselves of that, even though so many people [and] the FBI said that this is something that happened. I think it really has to do with the fact that they placed so much faith in experts, in doctors who said, 'There has been no sexual abuse because her hymen hasn't been broken,'" she told the publication. "They didn't have any real concept that anything else could be sexual abuse. It was purely penetration, really, that they thought was sexual abuse."
Notably, Jan's sister Karen Broberg said the parents never asked her sister anything about what really happened, which we know on some level is because they couldn't bear to think about what she went through, but how could they not ask their own daughter?
Skye continued: "The shame they feel [about] the affairs they had threw them into such denial. Between the time Jan was 16 and 21, when they weren't really talking about this stuff at all, when they hadn't realized any of the sexual abuse - I think they literally were able to convince themselves that if Jan's not telling us about this, it didn't happen.
"When Jan started becoming sexually active, started liking boys, started figuring all of this stuff out, that's when the ramifications of what had happened with Berchtold really started to surface and she needed to tell her parents about this secret that she had been holding in.
"It is hard to understand, but I think it really was that they could not believe it."
Abducted In Plain Sight is available to stream on Netflix now.